Unique walleye of a lifetime, Dirty-30 club, Planer boards in weeds

Today’s Top 4

Biggest yeller-belly ever!

Steve Wasko saw all them yeller-belly waldos in the last Target Walleye email, and sent in the ultimate checkmate: A 29.75-incher [!] he plucked from the St. Louis River during a Twin Ports Walleye Association tourney in May ’14. Said he was longlining spinner rigs in 4-5′ with Gulp! Crawlers at 1.2 mph:

How cool is that?! Imagine when that thing first hit the net:

How to tell if there’s a bug hatch happenin’…

When it looks like someone shot your Humminbird HELIX with a paintball gun! That’s actually a pile of buggers rising up from bottom on charter captain Juls’ unit:

‘Nother way to tell there’s a hatch happenin’ is if you need a shovel — even though it’s 85 degrees — to get in your car. Came across this pic from Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson:

Here’s a few quick-hitters we ran before on how some of walleye fishing’s top sticks catch ’em during a heavy bug hatch…

> “I treat engorged walleyes like cold-front fish. I go for reaction bites with a Jigging Rap or spoon. Or if I’m pulling spinners, I’ll speed up from 1.0-1.2 to 1.6-1.8 mph.

> “On a lake like Mille Lacs, it’s key to know which flats have the biggest bug hatches. If I see clouds of bugs on my electronics I don’t even fish it. I’ll move to the gravel bars where they don’t hatch.”

> “One of the things during a big hatch is go really light and run a stealth rig of nothing more than a split-shot and leech. I’ll either troll really slow or sit right on top of the fish….

> “The rig is simple: 4- or 6-lb Sufix Fluorocarbon with 32-38″ between a #4 VMC Octopus Hook and the split-shot. On the business end, I use a smaller leech like a medium or large to emulate the larvae coming off the bottom.”

> “I do things differently. I don’t compete with the mud buffet. I do downsize, but look for harder bottoms because there’s fewer mayflies. Even if it’s just harder mud bottom. There’s the spongy stuff and there’s compact, clay bottom. I go for the latter — areas where there’s less competition.

> “I’m either cranking or pulling spinners. I downsize blades and crankbaits, like going from Reef Runner 800s to Deep Little Rippers which are half the size. In terms of spinners, I drop one to two sizes in blades…like from #8 to #6, or #6 to #4, or all the way down to #3.”

Rest of the buggy deets in this OG TargetWalleye.com post.

Dirty 30s of the week!

Dustin “only catches bigguns” Garthus (@gnarthus) cracked his new PB walldawg with this 13-lb 5-oz (33″) set of shoulders! Believe from the South Saskatchewan River. Said he caught her trolling a “perch” color #7 Rapala Shallow Shad Rap on windblown points. Straight-up ridiculous fish:

Guide Travis DeWitt has been getting his clients on some Lake of the Woods bombs. Talkin’ fish of THIS caliber…a 31.75-incher, and Connor’s first walleye ever! Caught this morning vertical jigging frozen shiners on a 3/8-oz jig. Gonna be a tough one to beat…hope it doesn’t ruin walleye fishing for him forever lol:

How ’bout Julie Collman’s (@jjgofish) massive 32″ rock melon she stuck outta Saganaga Lake (ON/MN border) last week?! Said she was running a homemade Lindy Rig and leech off the rocks in 16′. Well done!

Ryan King wrapped up a week-long father/son fishing trip on the flooded Mississippi River with a 30.25″ (11.2-lb) stump-knocker. Caught on a B-Fish-N Tackle Draggin’ Jig (cool design w/ a streamlined head and weedguard) tipped with a ‘crawler. Know you caught a good one when you can hide behind it:

Levi Abramo (@leviabramo) sent this one in to the Target Walleye Instagram page. A 13.7-lb (33 5/8″) freak o’ nature his brother Bryck caught “trolling Raps in the Brainerd Lakes Area.” Check it:

Insane fish ^ anywhere in the walleye world, but being from the Brainerd Lakes Area myself, it’s got me like:

Lol! Congrats on the fishes of a lifetime, peoples!!

Here’s one for all you ‘Bird watchers out there.

Humminbird just announced they’ve got MEGA 360 Imaging coming your way. That’s a 360-degree view, with a diameter of up to 250′ around the boat! Spendy stuff, but incredible for you tourney guys or science-fiction enthusiasts:

Full scoop here, including a vid of it in action.

News

1. MN: Brunswick’s New York Mills operation…

…earns Governor’s Safety Award. Where Lund Boats are made. Comes just a week after they were named top 10 in the Star Tribune’s Top 150 Workplace list.

2. MN: Help design the new walleye stamp.

It’s the ultimate food stamp:

> “Walleye stamps help fund an account used only for walleye stocking. We use the money to buy walleye from certified private producers that we stock in lakes.”

3. Scott Forristall = new prez and CEO of St. Croix.

‘Grats!

4. MN: Clam Outdoors is hiring.

An “event, maintenance & coordinator” to join the marketing department.

5. Today’s your last chance to register for ICAST online.

6. Diggin’ this new-ish ‘Trap color.

Saw it in yesterday’s BassBlaster email and had to snipe:

> …bright belly shad…comes in a matte finish that gives it rich tones in low light.

IMO ‘Traps got some of the coolest colors in the biz. Take a peak at ’em here.

7. Tackle spending up, angler numbers flat.

I would say that holding flat is actually a good thing when you consider how many indoor “activities” there are nowadays…. #Enthusiasts

8. New Livetarget Flutter Shad.

Had some buddies try ’em out last ice season and said they really liked the action. Bunch more info if you click on the pic:

9. New Fish Monkey gloves for ice-heads.

10. Came across this cool new gadget…

…called the Mag-Net-Go from Coots Lures, a small WI-based company.

Basically it’s a magnetic clip that holds the basket of the net up and in place — so it doesn’t drag in the water — when reaching waaaay out to net a fish. Weight of the fish releases the magnet to drop down the basket.

Click the pic for a video of it in action:

Tip of the Day

Planer boards in the cabbage weeds?

We’ve talked about it before…so why have you still not tried it? (Lol!)

Walleye-nut Chad Maloy uses Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards to troll live-bait rigs through shallow cabbage and not spook fish. You’ll get some funny looks while doin’ it — especially in states like MN where you’re only allowed 1 line per person — but it’s a super-sneaky technique that pays off:

> Come late June (and mid-summer) when the weeds become fully grown, the bait’s no longer concentrated in isolated areas. Most bait is now living in or near the mature weed growth. [Cabbage weeds] provide the perfect place for bait and walleyes to get out of the sun and hide.

> Last July my friend Dave and I came across a beautiful patch of cabbage weeds. I told Dave we should try using an Off Shore to run a leech through the weeds. The water was crystal-clear and we needed to get the bait away from the boat to not spook the fish.

> Let the bait out at the desired depth, then clip the Off Shore Tackle Planer Board onto your line…it will run your bait to the side of the boat. The distance is determined by the amount of line you let out after clipping [the planer board] to your line.

> …rod was rigged up with a 3/8-oz worm sinker, a small swivel and 4′ of Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro to a small Northland Gum-Drop Floater + jumbo leech.

> The cabbage was about 10′ under the surface of the water so we let out enough line that once we started to move the sinker would brush the top of the cabbage, allowing the leech to float just above it.

> Every once in a while the sinker would catch a leaf causing the whole rig to stall and then pop loose — ideal for triggering a bite if a fish is following your bait.

Quote of the Day

“Of course my sons would find this…”

– That’s Kirsten Olson of Missouri Secrets Tackle talking about her boys meeting a dude named “Tag the Crane.” He’s a 6’4″, 350-lb dream-maker…or heart-breaker…depending on your luck:

Thing’s loaded full of Phantom Lures, so I’d definitely have to give her a go:

Today’s ‘Eye Candies

TW fan Jadyn Thomas snatched this Ottertail County, MN bruiser from a cabbage bed. Looks like a little VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig action, and believe that’s a Berkley PowerBait Power Swimmer on the back? Solid fish and pic:

Lucky for Jadyn, his good buddy Tony Agre (@tonyagre) is a savage behind the lens! Really diggin’ this parting shot sending her back home:

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Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — walleye during open water and all species during hardwater — is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-nuts like you! #fishheads
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye He was discovered in Brainerd, MN after years of wondering how in the heck people break into the fishing biz. He’s in it now, but still can’t answer that question…. Brett is one of those guys who majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at brett@targetwalleye.com
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